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Dear BAMf Podcast: Episode 8 with Erin Gleason

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Dear BAMf // Episode 8: Erin Gleason of Founders Fund answer a tricky question about how to tactfully share positive company news with the media in a COVID-19 world.

Let's kick this week off right with episode eight of the Dear BAMf podcast. In this episode, we spoke to Erin Gleason, VP of Communications at Founders Fund. Erin leads communication strategy and media relations for the firm, as well as advises portfolio companies across consumer tech, health tech, enterprise software, and beyond. She gave some really thoughtful advice about handling media relations in the new COVID-19 world, including this delicate problem: 

Dear BAMf, 

I'm in a pickle with this one. The startup I'm the head of comms at is in the "death space." I'm proud to work here and there's certainly a need to break the stigma around death and dying. My problem: we are getting a lot business amid COVID-19. I'm talking 4x growth in the last three months. My CEO sees this as a huge moment to tell our story to the press, but I'm concerned about talking about death and our business, while people are actually dying around the globe from COVID-19. How can I tactfully manage the media campaign without a headline reading like, 'death startup sees rise in business amid COVID-19'?

Listen now to hear Erin thoughtfully address this complicated question, plus provide helpful advice for thoughtfully managing internal comms and tactical advice for managing exec team members' communication strategy when they don't perform well under media pressure.

Dear BAMf: Episode 8

Episode 8 highlights:

  • (2:13) Why comms leaders at organizations need to be included in executive team meetings and the value that they provide when they are.
  • (07:45) Two strategies for having honest conversations with your team about their anxieties about the state of the world, and how to support them along the way.
  • (13:35) Tactics for building an executive's thought leadership reputation with media without putting them in the bright spotlight of a broadcast television interview. Try pairing them with a team member on the executive team for tag team interviews to create a level of comfort.
  • (17:20) Erin gave a real-world example of how creating organic content on social platforms like Twitter and Medium can drive media attention.
  • (21:20) Why focusing on the human aspect of your business vs. the numbers when sharing positive company news with the media during COVID-19 will put your business in the best possible light.

What is Dear BAMf?

We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers) according to us, but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.

Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous. 

Tune-in for our next episode on Monday, July 20 and subscribe to Dear BAMf on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts

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